Jessie Blalock – Obituary

By  | January 31, 2019 | Filed under: Obituaries, Spry Memorial Chapel

Jessie Herring Blalock Jessie Blalock was born in Phil Campbell, Alabama on January 26, 1924. She was the second child of Horrace and Myrtle (Taylor) Herring. Jessie graduated from Phil Campbell High School in 1942. Shortly after that, she left home to go and work for the WWII war effort in an industrial defense plant in Mobile, Alabama. She worked on electronics boards for aircraft. She was basically a “Rosie the Riveter” but for electronics. She met her husband, Joe Blalock there and shortly after they were married. Jessie was married on Feb 5, 1943 to Joseph H. Blalock Jr in Pasgagoula, Mississippi. Not long after that, Joe left to go overseas to serve in the Army Air Corp during WWII. He was a Radio Operator in the B-17 aircraft. He flew 23 missions, was shot down on the 23rd, survived ejection from the aircraft and was subsequently rescued and then sent back to the US. There, he stayed in the AAC (later USAF) and he and Jessie had several assignments in the US and abroad. Assignments included Germany, Alaska, Florida and Georgia. In the meantime, they raised 3 children. Jessie served with her husband as a US military spouse for over 22 years. After retirement from the USAF, Jessie ran a gift shop called “Friendship Gifts” in their home state of Georgia (Rome) while Joe worked for General Electric Company and later in his own company producing training videos.

Eventually, Joe accepted a job with Northrup Aircraft to train Iranians on maintenance of Iran’s fighter aircraft. Joe and Jessie moved to Tehran, Iran in 1977 to fulfill this job requirement. The couple lived in Iran until just before the Iranian revolution in 1979. Joe and Jessie were both evacuated from the country prior to the revolution.

Upon returning to the US, Joe and Jessie settled in Knoxville, Tennessee where Joe was employed. They lived there until he retired from work in 1991. After that they moved back to Phil Campbell, AL. they were married for 54 years until Joe Blalock passed in 1997. Jessie then moved from Alabama to Greenfield Reflections of Strasburg in 2015 which was closer to her daughter who lived in Ashburn, Virginia at the time. In 2017, her daughter and family moved to Knoxville TN and Jessie accompanied them where she lived at Elmcroft of Halls, an assisted living facility. Jessie passed away there on Sunday, January 27, 2019, one day after her 95th birthday.

Jessie is survived by her three children, Crystal Blalock Jordan of Knoxville, TN, John D. Blalock of Austell, GA and Bill Blalock of Fort Worth, TX. Jessie has six grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.

The visitation will be 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Friday, February 01, 2019 at Spry Memorial Chapel, Russellville, AL. The funeral will follow at 1:00 p.m. in the chapel. Burial will be at Liberty Hill Cemetery in Phil Campbell.

Spry Memorial Chapel assisted the family. To leave private condolences, please visit our website at

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